Brief spoilers for last night's "South Park" post-election extravaganza coming up just as soon as I steal some TV's...
"Trapper Keeper," the episode Trey Parker and Matt Stone did in the immediate, uncertain aftermath of the Bush/Gore election, remains one of my favorite "South Park" episodes ever. I must have watched it at least a couple of dozen times within the first year it aired (it was my "Turk dances" before Turk danced, the perfect picker-upper after a lousy day) and likely would have watched it even more if I had kept my old ReplayTV unit that had it stored on the hard drive.
So even though I don't watch "South Park" as often as I used to, I always make a point to check out their election shows, even though they've now led to diminished returns each time since. It's basically the same joke every time: there's really no difference between the two candidates, and everyone getting worked up about their guy versus the other guy is an idiot. There was a hint of that in "Trapper Keeper," and the theme became more overt in the 2004 edition, and was officially driven into the ground with this extended "Ocean's Eleven" parody where McCain and Obama were revealed as master jewel thieves who used the campaign to create a nationwide distraction on election night.
Really this is the theme of the vast majority of "South Park" episodes: people who care too much need to get over themselves. But the execution of that theme varies from week to week, election to election, and the jokes in "About Last Night" were played out within the first five minutes. Seeing Randy Marsh go overboard in his Obama worship, and McCain supporters like Butters' parents prepare for the end of the world was briefly amusing, but then there wasn't a second joke on top of that. Even the payoff about Ike faking the suicide attempt to help the thieves pull off the Hope Diamond heist just made me shrug. The whole thing was like a half-hour "SNL" sketch.
What did everybody else think?